Singapore’s Antworks raises $15m Series A from SBI Investment

Human interaction with artificial intelligence | Photo: Bloomberg

Singapore-based artificial intelligence company AntWorks has secured $15 million in a Series A funding round from SBI Investment, and launched a joint venture with the Japanese VC firm, according to an official release.

AntWorks describes itself as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Intelligent Automation products and solutions company. It develops an intelligent automation platform, ANTstein, to provide deep automation solutions to enterprises of all sizes.

The company, which provides solutions for over 450 customers and claims a presence in 4 continents, says it will release its new Robotic Process Automation (RPA) product, SQUARE, at the end of this year.

The investment from SBI, which is the subsidiary of Tokyo-listed SBI Holdings, will provide an impetus for the company’s next level of growth in Artificial Intelligence & Enterprise RPA, as well as fuel its R&D, strengthen its marketing and sales engine, and boost its foray into new markets.

The joint venture, meanwhile, will see both companies joining forces to tap the tremendous opportunities in the emerging AI space in South East Asia.

“SBI Holdings reposing this faith in us with both the investment and the joint venture is a validation and an opportunity to grow and come into what we have always believed AntWorks can be – a true leader forging a new path, reimagining business as usual,” said AntWork Founder and CEO Asheesh Mehra.

Commenting on the deal and partnership, SBI Holdings Representative Director, President, and CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, said, “SBI Group is actively involved in introducing RPA solutions to financial institutions in Japan and strongly believes in the future of this field. We are excited with the possibilities of ANTstein™ and look forward to their growth in the Asian region through our joint venture, as well as globally.”

Earlier this year, SBI Investment established a new fund called SBI AI and Blockchain Fund with a target corpus of JPY 50 billion ($451.5 million) to invest in a broad range of AI and blockchain businesses, including fintech, IoT, robotics and sharing economy startups.

The new fund is a successor to the company’s FinTech Fund, which is managed by SBI Investment, the core company in SBI Group’s Asset Management Business. The fintech fund was closed in December 2015 with commitments of JPY 30 billion ($270.9 million).

One of the firm’s most recent investments was in Boston-based data unification firm Tamr Inc. SBI participated in an $18-million round of funding for the startup, along with other prominent investors including Samsung Ventures and Fenox Venture Capital.

Also Read:

US-based software firm Tamr bags $18m from SBI, Samsung, others

Excited about permeation of artificial intelligence in SE Asia: Rina Lee, 33 Talent

Japanese AI startup Cinnamon raises $9m in SBI Investment-backed round

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.